Fences outlining the perimeter of your property are a great exterior addition to any home. They keep pets in the yard, help prevent kids from running into the street, and provide privacy from your nosy neighbors. However, being exposed to the elements 24 hours per day, 365 days a year can really take a toll on your wooden fence. Fortunately, a fence pressure washing can turn back the hands of time and make your old fence look like new again. All it takes is the right tools and a little know how!
Is your property fence looking a little worse for wear? Because it is exposed to the harsh elements all day, every day, it will eventually start to look worn, damaged and dirty. If you live in an area with extreme heat or cold, cleaning your fence might be needed more often, maybe as often as twice a year. Cleaning off the grime is essential especially if you plan to paint or stain the fence to freshen it up. The idea of scrubbing each plank by hand probably doesn’t sound very appealing. Maybe you have considered using exterior professional fence pressure washing in Rock Hill, SC to get your fence looking its best again. But before you call the professionals, or decide to pick up a machine and start spraying, there are several things to consider.
Fence pressure washing is the most efficient way to revitalize your fence, but it’s important to remember that in order to remove the grit and muck from surfaces, pressure washers must be very powerful. In fact, units used on home cleaning projects typically produce 1,500 to 3,000 PSI (pounds of pressure per square inch). In untrained hands, that much force can be extremely dangerous and damaging. One poorly aimed spray of the wand, and you could be dealing with a broken window or missing wood planks.
Even though pressure washers are the easiest way to clean wooden fence structures, the high pressure of the water can splinter soft woods like pine and cedar, quickly doing major damage. If you’re up for the challenge, do a bit of research on personal pressure washing before you get started. And if you decide to let a professional handle the job, talk to a few fence power washing companies for estimates and bids. Another bonus of hiring a pro is that trained professionals can pressure wash a wood fence just as easily as they can clean your siding or driveway; so consider any other pressure washing your property may need before hiring a contractor, to ensure a thoroughly cleaned area!
Now that we’ve covered both the reasons to handle your fence washing and maintenance yourself and the reasons to hire a professional, let’s talk about some essential tips to follow if you decide to go the do it yourself route.
The goal of cleaning your fence is to wash off the thin layer of dead wood cells that gives an older wood fence its silvery-gray patina, or hue. Once the fresh wood is revealed, it can be stained or sealed to protect it from the decay that comes from moisture infiltration and weathering. Are you ready to get started? Follow along!
Gas powered power washers typically have higher PSI ratings and deliver more gallons of water per minute (GPM) than electric models. If you’re a total newbie to pressure washing, a gas pressure washer may be more powerful than you’re comfortable with. It’s not a bad idea to begin with an electric pressure washer, but do keep in mind that electric models require access to a power outlet. If that’s going to be inconvenient given the size of your fence, spring for a gas pressure washer and give yourself plenty of opportunity to practice with it before starting your project in earnest.
The high pressure stream of water from a pressure washer loosens dirt and grime, and it can also spray that dirt and grime back onto your yard, and you! If you have delicate flowers or shrubs growing near the base of your fence, covering them with a tarp for protection is a good idea. Start with a green-tipped, 25-degree nozzle. This nozzle is the best for all purpose pressure washing, but if you encounter tough grime or heavily stained areas of the fence, you may need to switch to a yellow-tipped, 15-degree nozzle. High pressure water can do significant damage at close range, so begin farther away from the fence, try about two feet, and then gradually move forward if necessary. It may take you a couple of passes to find the right distance for cleaning, but it’s better to move slowly than to gouge the wood. Most residential pressure washers, especially those available for rent, only offer cold water settings.
If, however, you’ve managed to snag a heavier duty machine, you may have both cold and hot water options. For pressure washing a wood fence, stick to cold water. Hot water can raise the grain of the wood and make staining or sealing the fence more difficult. Protect your eyes with safety glasses, and never direct the water stream toward people, pets, or electricity sources. You may also consider wearing ear protection. Pressure washers can be loud, and protecting your hearing is important. And remember: you will get wet, so dress accordingly!
Wooden fences can last upwards of 20 years, depending on what kind of wood you use and the climate you live in. Regular fence washing and treating with a stain or sealer can help preserve the look and prolong the life of your fence. Cleaning your fence can be a good weekend DIY project if nice weather is in the forecast (though if this is your first time attempting such work, you might want to budget a couple of weekends), or you can let a professional handle it. Either way, you’ll be surprised at how good and like-new your wood fence will look once the grime and dirt have been washed away.
We don’t just power wash the roof’s, siding, and windows. We take care of the concrete pathways, fencing, and so much more. Our goal when we perform fence pressure washing is to increase the curb appeal of the entire property. No matter what the reason for considering fence pressure washing RC Power Cleaning can help. If you have any questions on would like a quote feel free to reach out to us here.